After a long summer, it’s important to have your chimney prepared for fall. If the fireplace and chimney aren’t ready for the first fire of the season, it may put your family at risk, your home at risk, and may result in a few cold nights.

Flashing–A Common Problem

fall leaves and flashing repairA common chimney problem after a long summer filled with heat, storms, and migratory animals is actually a problem with the outside of the chimney. The flashing sits on the outside of the chimney and if it is fixed it will not affect the inside.

What is Flashing?

Made up of multiple sheets of thin metal, the flashing protects the chimney’s most vulnerable area–the intersection of the roof and chimney. It is a barrier that keeps water running down the roof, and falling down the chimney from entering the seam there. Flashing may be used on other areas of the roof, but is most commonly part of the chimney system and installed by a chimney professional. Can a roofing contractor install your flashing? Yes, but it is never recommended for a general contractor to complete chimney work. Only a chimney professional knows the ins and outs of comprehensive chimney care.

Signs of a Flashing Problem

Water in the chimney.
If your chimney is leaking, the very first thing a professional will check is the flashing. The leak can merely be the sound of dripping from deep inside hidden portions of the chimney system, or even a leak in the ceiling or wall of a different room entirely. Flashing is checked first because it’s often installed incorrectly and damaged unknowingly, so it is the most likely source of most chimney leaks.
Exposed nails.
If the flashing is installed by an amateur or homeowner, they often leave nails exposed that allow water to penetrate the flashing. Nails may become exposed after strong winds, serious storms, and animal tampering, but are often left exposed during a poor installation job.

Call the Professionals

Only the professionals know how to correctly place flashing based on the material and slant of the roof. When you have a chimney problem, it’s important to call the professionals, and to get it repaired before fall!

Schedule your inspection or have your leaky chimney diagnosed now and you will have time for necessary repairs before fall. If your flashing is missing, damaged, or shifted, the only way to prevent a dangerous and costly leak is to have it repaired today.

Water Damage

The best thing you can do for your chimney is to prevent water from penetrating the system. Water can ruin a chimney from the inside out, causing:

  • Rusted parts, assemblies, doors, hinges, and connections
  • Deteriorated metal assemblies, parts, and central heating system
  • Deteriorated mortar, masonry, and heart support
  • Cracks, deterioration, mold, and odors to the flue lining system
  • Water stains and damage to furniture, walls, floors, and ceilings

When you call Northwest Fireplace and Chimney, you can rest assured that your chimney system is ready for fall. Take it one step further and ask about waterproofing services today.